The first Europeans to pass through Hunt County were French. Seutter's 1735 map of the Texas area shows that St. Denis, a trader traveling between from Louisiana to the Rio Grande, passed through Hunt County and crossed the forks of the Sabine in 1713 and again on his return journey in 1716. In 1787, a French-Spanish expedition headed by Vial and Fragosa also crossed through the county. Evidence of their journeys in the form of blue trading beads were discovered during the construction of Lake Tawakoni in the 1960s.

Though the Mexican government issued a small number of land grants in the area that is now Hunt County in 1835, settlement did not begin until 1838-1839. The first settlers arrived in the area that is now Hunt County around 1840. These early settlers found tribes of Kiowa, Caddo and Tawakoni Indians settled amidst the tall native prairie grass and large thickets. Approximately 500 people lived in the county when it was formed from Fannin and Nacogodoches Counties by the first legislature of Texas in 1846. The official act to create Hunt County was signed on April 11, 1846. Hunt County's early settlers came mostly from Tennessee, Kentucky and states in the deep south such as Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Many of the county's early settlers also came to stake claim to land grants from the Republic of Texas, or as a part of Charles Fenton Mercer's colony.
The county was named for Memuchan Hunt, the first Texas minister to the United States. Greenville, which was established on land donated by McQuinney Howell Wright and James G. Bourland, became the county seat. Greenville, the county seat, is named for Thomas Jefferson Green, who, among other things, was second in command of the Meir Expedition. Narrowly named Pickneyville in honor of Governor J. Pickney Henderson, a change was written in at the last moment, and the first seat of Collin County ended up named as such. The first sale of town lots for Greenville was held in 1846, though the city was not officially incorporated until 1850. This was because after the initial survey was done, it was decided that the format of the town needed to be moved somewhat so that trees for lumber would be included in the town site. Because the surveyor had gone, and was not located until 1850, Greenville was not incorporated until that time.

More History here

This Hunt County website is part of the TXGenWeb Project, which links together on-line genealogical resources for each of Texas' counties.
To contact the Hunt County Coordinator - Jeff Kemp,
click here.
© 1996, TXGenWeb Project Volunteers, All rights reserved. Contents my be used with electronic or written permission only. Last Edited: 03/21/19


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July 2012

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